Aug 27, 2005 3:28am
Re: Grateful Dead: We leave the Castle Fillmore -April 10, 1970
Yep, other than attending an opera in Mexico City, 1963 (and my debut on a live stage performing "Puff The Magic Dragon" solo/accapella at a Columbia Boy's Club summer camp in 1963)...
Flash Forward, to Friday night, April 10, 1970...
That awestriking Miles Davis/ Dead show was my very first live concert - and it was a mind bender to be sure...
I was a junior Lowell HS pupil, unstoned that eve, yet getting the experience of a lifetime.
It was gratifying to learn later that Miles Davis appreciated Jerry Garcia's musicianship - an honor not lightly given to caucasion instrumentalists by the hard-nosed (and rightfully so) MD...
They all played well that night, as I recall...
and of the 20+ GD shows I've gone to from April 10, 1970 up to the bash in the GG Park for Bill Graham with John Fogerty guesting - the finest shows I saw of those scattered smattering of a long strange trip I barely touched the surface of;
for me, have to be the 1970 shows I caught of the GD at the FW and WinterLand (the night Janis died, me and friends were there - living it up one last time with the Airplane and Quicksilver before that news was out and the locals learned that the compass rose of the scene was gone forever;
There are only certain moments I still can recall clearly from that year I first decided to tune in, turn on, and pig(pen) out...
such as Miles doing a wildly intense Bitches Brew, walking on and off stage, like a man possessed, bringing from the stratosphere or who knows where sounds from his inner mind perhaps, expressed in flashes of indescribable stacatto blasts ...
I'm trying, but can't put into words what that night was like to my virgin ears...
needless to say, I've never been the same since, though I've moved on - branched out, gone retro, over, under, sideways, downbeat...
and maybe just one step, or half a step, beyond the outer limits of the twilight zone...
it all began when a fellow student was playing a tape of the GD he had recorded at the Fillmore circa early1970 or late 1969 (I noted in June that he was near the FW stage in mid-1970,) with his crude mono cassette deck in hand...
On the lawn as I was truckin' by cuttin' class to distribute Jiz Comics I was pulled over by that cool tune he was playing (I hadda ask) on his funky little deck...
it was Saint Stephen, and the opening riff grabbed me.
I didn't have to ask twice- I knew I had to hear more - and finally go to that scary forbidding post flower power era venue and see /hear/everything this familiar name from the psychedelic posters, Grateful Dead, was doing -
so, I walked up a month later into The Carousel, and the first thing I saw, that I remember like it was only 35 years ago, was a big dude-, this African-American in robes of his native land, proclaiming as he strolled near the snack bar toward the incoming hippie kids-
"I am the king of LSD!
I am the King of Acid!"
Whoah, where did my plane just land...there was still some good old fashioned hipster insanity, and I had boarded a bus with a bunch of crazies who were keeping it
(one further note on the parent post of this thread, courtesy of
Dennis McNally says this in his book "Long Strange Trip": )
"Phil's friend Tom Constanten worked with them on prepared piano, in which he produced curious sounds by wedging coins (Dutch dimes were preferred), combs or clothespins in the strings. They used colored noies he'd recorded with Pousseur in Belgium, and the ringing sound in "We Leave The Castle" ... was from a tape that was cut. In Los Angeles he'd dropped a gyroscope on the piano's sounding board and almost destroyed Hassinger's hearing and sanity."
This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2005-08-27 10:28:53